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January 13, 2013

Appeal set in local murder case

A state appeals court later this month will consider the case of Devin Eugene Royal, who was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of Javon Newman.

A jury in the 196th District Court found Royal guilty last year.

The Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana intends to receive briefs in Royal’s appeal on Jan. 28.

Royal of Greenville, had pleaded not guilty to one count of murder involving Newman’s death.

The jury also voted against a finding that the murder was the product of the immediate influence of sudden passion resulting from an adequate cause.

Royal will have to spend at least 30 years in prison before he can be considered eligible for parole.

Officers responded to a call of shots being fired at a local apartment complex early on the morning of July 2, 2011 and found that Newman had been shot multiple times. Individuals who witnessed the shooting identified Royal and Antonio Derrance Flatcher of Greenville as suspects in the offense.

Fletcher was also found guilty of Newman’s murder and was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

The Sixth Court of Appeals, through its three justices decides civil and criminal appeals arising primarily in its 19 county district, which includes most of northeast Texas, including Hunt County.

Of cases appealed from trial courts to the fourteen Texas Courts of Appeal, more than 95 percent become final at the Court-of-Appeals level because they are not accepted by either the Texas Supreme Court or the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin, the state courts of last resort for civil and criminal cases, respectively.

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